Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Josie's Birthday Odyssey

Today is Josie's last day as a three year old. I realized I never posted about her third birthday and she loves to come to the blog and see pictures of her life so better late than never, right?

We started out her birthday week last year with some camping. It was her first camping trip and she loved it!
We listened to Odysseus by Geraldine McCaughrean on CD on the drive to and from Indiana. Oh my, I can not recommend this audio book enough. The voices were perfect and the kids were so enchanted by the story and the way it was told. I will always think of Josie's third birthday trip as our own Odyssey because of this fantastic version of this timeless tale.
We drove first to Turkey Run State Park (Indiana) and it is a place with great childhood memories for me, so much fun to share with the kids.
Josie was so excited about setting up the tent. Notice I let the kids help Rob tackle the tent while I took pictures.
They loved exploring the area around our campsite. Dema was so thoughtful and sweet to look after his little sister, but really she was happy to do everything herself and kept up with the big boys.
I didn't want to rely on the boring stereotypical vegan hot dogs so I made a big batch of Green Curried Chickpea Patties which we ate on whole wheat buns. They were excellent car camping food, full of chickpeas, quinoa, and kale I didn't sacrifice nutrition just because we were away from home and they are always a hit with the kids. Breakfast was a super treat of organic instant oatmeal. They never get this stuff at home since we use steel cut oats, but it is an easy and fun breakfast when on the road. What is your favorite vegan camp food? I need more ideas for our next trip.
In lieu of a birthday cake, Josie had her first s'more, another awesome treat.
We like Dandies best. We use Health Valley's Amaranth Graham Crackers because I can never find ones without honey and I'm too lazy to make them myself. They are good and just the right size. I don't remember what wonderful fair trade vegan chocolate bars we used, but they were yummy!
Here is Parker's s'more, a little more appetizing than the picture with Josie.
Checking out the trail map. Josie wanted to go on trail number 3 since that was her special number.
Look at Josie with the cutest backpack. We bought it for Dema on our trip to Colorado when I was pregnant with Josie. She was a trooper carrying her pack with her snacks the entire day as we hiked. I love that girl!
The kids in one of the many cool caverns.
She was amazing on the steep climbs. I didn't get the best pictures of her going back and doing a climb a second time just because Rob put a hand out to help. He is just behind her on these stairs, but isn't allowed to help. She wanted to do everything on her own. Rob was big into rock climbing when we met and we have wonderful memories of camping/backpacking/climbing together, but we stopped when we had children. I think Josie might be up for climbing as she gets older.
The kids and I on our snack break. Apples always give you energy to finish the hike.
Dema walking across the tree bridge with no fear.
Suspending from the suspension bridge.
Some of the friends we made: Parker's Skipper Caterpillar. See the real poop this interesting creature here.
Dema's Phasmatodea (stick-bug).
Josie's Millipede. Now back to food.
After a couple nights, we broke camp and took a detour to Indy before heading home. Ethiopian food at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant west of Maryland, Abyssinia. Josie enjoying her lentil sambousa and mango juice before the main course arrived.
We couldn't go to Indy without visiting our favorite Children's Museum.
Fun with contradictions: Josie, our girl-power daughter with the anti-feminist, Barbie.
Dema, who grew up strapped to me via baby carrier attending anti-war demonstrations and who would go to sleep listening to Michael Franti (two of his first words), checking out the GI Joe exhibit.
Parker, who wants to remain car-free as long as possible, in a race car.
Their favorite part of the museum is the Egypt exhibit. We spent hours playing with the Egyptian food and the play cafe.
Parker enjoying the pretend mango smoothie (with kale, Josie insisted).
This museum worker really earned his pay this day. We pretty much had the museum to ourselves and he gave us the royal treatment. He taught the kids about mummies as an archaeologist, played music as we "attended an Egyptian wedding", taught Dema how to juggle as a street vendor, and all around showed the kids (and us) an awesome time. A very memorable third birthday for my Josephine Marie. I'll blog about her 3rd birthday party soon since she decided against a big 4th birthday party. I can't believe she'll be four tomorrow!
I'm thankful for this blog so I have some sort of record of the last four years with her in our lives. I feel completely blessed to have all three of my children and Josie completes our family perfectly. I love you ninja princess!


Loretta said...

Teagan and I have enjoyed reading about (and looking at the pictures of) Josie's last birthday. :) Happy birthday, Josie!

Laura said...

Great photo-story! And happy birthday to Josie! X Laura